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Friday, April 3, 2015

The Emergence of China: From Confucius to the Empire

Authors:
E Bruce Brooks and A Taeko Brooks

Publication Date: 
February 15, 2015

Publisher:
University Press of New England

Abstract:

The Emergence of China presents the classical period in its own terms. It contains more than 500 translated excerpts from the classical texts, linked by a running commentary which traces the evolution and interaction of the different schools of thought. These are shown in dialogue about issues from tax policy to the length of the mourning period for a parent. Some texts labor to construct the legal and political edifice of the new state, while others passionately oppose its war orientation, or amusingly ridicule those who supported it. Here are the arguments of the Hundred Schools of classical thought, for the first time restored to life and vividly presented.

There are six topical chapters, each treating a major subject in chronological order, framed by a preliminary background chapter and a concluding survey of the eventual Empire. Each chapter includes several brief Methodological Moments, as samples of the philological method on which the work is based. Occasional footnotes point to historical parallels in Greece, Rome, the Ancient Near East, and the mediaeval-to-modern transition in Europe, which at many points the Chinese classical period resembles. At the back of the book are a guide to alternate Chinese romanizations, a list of passages translated, and a subject index.

This is the only account of early Chinese thought which presents it against the background of the momentous changes taking place in the early Chinese state, and the only account of the early Chinese state which follows its development, by correctly dated documents, from its beginnings in the palace states of Spring and Autumn to the economically sophisticated bureaucracies of late Warring States times. In this larger context, the insights of the philosophers remain, but their failure to influence events is also noted. The fun of the Jwangdz is transmitted, but along with its underlying pain. The achievements of the Chinese Imperial formation process are duly registered, but so is their human cost. Special attention is given to the contribution of non-Chinese peoples to the eventual Chinese civilization.

Table of Contents:

Title Page
Preface
Contents
Introduction

Chapter 1: Antiquity
The Myth of Gwan Jung, p32; a Methodological Moment
Confucius' Father, p35-37

Chapter 2: The Economy
The Land Tax, p40-42
Universal Sovereignty p45-46, a Methodological Moment
Agrarian Primitivism, p61-64

Chapter 3: The State
Philosophical Interactions, p74
Concepts of Change, p84-85

Chapter 4: War
A Plan for Peace, p94-97
Defense, p119-120

Chapter 5: The Civilian Elite
Recruitment, p134
Sywndz, p143-148, a Methodological Moment

Chapter 6: The People
Non-Sinitic Persons, p159-161; ending in a Methodological Moment
Populism, the people's right of criticism, p157-162, ending in Confucius's verdict on the idea
The Human Nature Debate, p172-176

Chapter 7: Transcendence
Deep Reality, p195-197, a Methodological Moment
The Limits of Transcendence, p208

Chapter 8: The Empire
The Question of Feudalism, p212-214
The Resurgence of Chu, p230-234

Apparatus
Major Events
Text Chronology
Romanization Table
Works Cited
Passages Translated
Subject Index
Back Cover


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